Teaching human evolution at the University of Kentucky

The University of Kentucky is where the fight to teach evolution really began, since this was where John Scopes went to school and witnesses his own professors’ fight to teach it. You might remember him being on the side of evolution in the so-called “Scopes Monkey Trial” held in Tennessee in 1925. Although Scopes actually lost the trial (and was fined $100), in the court of public opinion significant resistance to the teaching of evolution faded. But it didn’t go away.

In some places, it’s actually stronger than it has ever been. But despite some students loudly calling him out in class, one man continues to teach human evolution at the University of Kentucky, John Scopes’ alma mater.

Plugging a 1986 Mac Plus into the modern Web

Can you actually get a Mac Plus to connect to today’s Internet? The answer is yes but it’s neither simple nor easy.

It’s easy to laugh at the specs of such an old computer but they got the job done. If you’re doing something like writing, they remain more than adequate. Nevertheless, something like this is still done pretty much just to be able to say you did. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

You need an anti-doxing strategy

If you’re active in any social media or otherwise have an opportunity to express an opinion online (sadly, particularly if you’re female), you’ll need an anti-doxing strategy.

If you’re not familiar with the term “doxing”, it refers to harassment in the real world as a result of information that can be gleaned about you online. It can range from anything from being signed up for mailing lists or printed magazine subscriptions to annoying telemarketer calls to even having the local SWAT team called to your house (this is called “Swatting”). It can range from annoying to potentially life-threatening, so it’s something to take seriously and plan for accordingly.

More evidence Cameron Todd Willingham was wrongly executed

Back in 2006 I wrote about the case of Cameron Todd Willingham, a Texas man who was convicted and eventually executed for setting a fire that killed his two young children. Even then, forensic scientists were saying the fire investigators who claimed it was arson were using junk science to do so. Now it appears a key witness who testified that Willingham confessed while in prison was given a reduced sentence in return for that testimony.

So a man was put to death for a fire that was likely accidental and that he likely didn’t confess to because the legal system decided he must punished. That pretty much describes “justice” in America in general and in Texas in particular.

The Bob Moog Foundation releases schematics

If you remember the Moog synthesizers from the 70s, you’ll definitely be interested in the schematics recently released by The Bob Moog Foundation.

I haven’t studied them in detail so it’s possible some of the components called out are obsolete but it should still be fun to build some of them anyway.

The K-Cup inventor has regrets

John Sylvan is the inventor of the K-Cup coffee brewing system. Despite its overwhelming success as a product he regrets ever doing so. He left Keurig long ago and now runs a solar energy company.

You can overcome some of the waste by getting a reusable cup and filling it with your own coffee (there are even workarounds for the new DRM’d cups). The downside is the mess the grounds make but they’re also recyclable so it works out.